Tens of Thousands Ask Congress for a Good Samaritan Law for People who Save Dogs from Hot Cars

June 26, 2017

A Care2 petition is asking for a national Good Samaritan law that would protect Americans who save dogs from hot cars. It has gathered over 64,000 signatures.

With summer here, many who have signed the Care2 petition are concerned about pet owners who leave their dogs in hot cars while they shop or run errands.

“I would never leave my dog, Sophia, unattended in a car, but I’m aware there are many people who don’t realize how dangerous this is for animals, especially during the summer,” said Care2 petition author Kelsey Bourgeois, a Chicago resident. “No one should be prosecuted for trying to save an innocent being. We need a national law protecting people who break into a car to save an animal from death.”

Even in mild, 70-degree weather, the interior of a car can quickly rocket to 90 degrees or hotter, imperiling animals left inside.

In September 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law protecting Californians from prosecution if they break a window to save an animal from a hot car. Rescuers can now break into the car as long as there is no other way to free the animal, such as if the animal is in danger, the car is locked and help is not arriving quickly.

According to Animal Legal Defense Fund, at least nine states have some form of a “Good Samaritan” law on the books for animals left in hot cars.

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